To: All Ex Debenhams Members
From: Gerry Light
RE: DISPUTE UPDATE
13 November 2020
Following the most recent meeting of the national Shop Stewards group which took place yesterday 12th November I wish to give a report on the following.
1. Meeting with An Taoiseach
At this stage it is a matter of some regret and frustration that the union has formally written twice to An Taoiseach seeking his positive intervention yet we have not been extended the courtesy of a reply. Notwithstanding this he did say on the record of the Dail this week that he was willing to meet the union and its chosen representatives. Given this reality it is important that we continue to keep the upmost pressure on him to fulfil this promise. Resulting from the intense focus that has been recently applied An Taoiseach spoke directly this morning to Valarie Conlon, Shop Steward, Patrick Street, Cork and indicated to her that he was prepared to meet. Further to this the union has directly contacted his department with a view to finalising arrangements for a meeting and further details of this will follow in due course. Notwithstanding these developments it is also important that we all maintain the momentum across the full range of our political and public lobbying initiatives currently in place. To this end a “MyUplift” petition initiated by Jane Crowe, Shop Steward, Henry Street, will be distributed further amongst our general union membership.
2. Statutory Claims
The following is the latest update received from KPMG in respect of the various statutory entitlements outstanding.
“With regard to the RP50 payments due to employees this is sent straight from the Department to each employee. The following is the latest update as on Thursday 12th November 2020. Up to close of business yesterday 620 applications were processed. This includes approximately 70 which will receive payment on 20th November. By tomorrow evening we expect a further 50 will be processed and they will also receive payment on the 20th November. Estimated total authorised by 13th November = 670.”
Other Statutory Payments
“Regarding the IP1 claims, we have now received funds through from the Department for circa 400 employees (about 42% of the population). The payments to employees will be completed in batches once the appropriate tax deductions are made by our tax team. The first payments on this batch will issue this Friday and all circa 400 claims should be paid out over the next 10 days.”
KPMG also informed us that they still have not received completed documentation from a number of individuals so it is important that this is done without further delay.
3. Campaign for Legislative Change
As you know a critical part of our dispute is the demand for legislative change to ensure that when businesses which are liquidated in the future their workers are treated with greater fairness and equity within the liquidation process. We have been working alongside the Irish Congress of Trade Unions seeking these changes both in respect of company and employment law. In this regard Congress has submitted a comprehensive submission to Minister of State, Robert Troy, which sets out a range of desired changes to company law which if enacted would alter the current legislation and make it more worker friendly. A copy of the full submission is attached here and we would ask that everybody does what they can to support its stated objectives.
4. Dispute Fund Donations
The first allocation of monies received from a number of donors has been distributed for appropriate use amongst all of those who are actively participating on the 11 picket lines. It is anticipated that more donations will be received in the near future and it is intended to distribute them in an identical fashion. It is also intended at an appropriate time to publish a full list of all trade unions and individuals who have generously donated to the dispute fund.
For Mandate Trade Union